Arsenal have released the latest team news ahead of the FA Cup clash against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
The club confirmed that Dani Ceballos, who has been labelled the ‘glue’, will continue to be assessed prior to the fixture after missing out on the 3-0 win over Newcastle United with a tight calf muscle.
Meanwhile, there was less encouraging news on Pablo Mari, who won’t return to full training until next week after missing the last few games with a calf strain.
Can Arsenal beat Southampton on Saturday?
Yes, we will steamroll them
No, the Saints have too much for us
The cup game will prove to be a far trickier experiment that the thrashing of the Geordies on Monday evening. The midfield will be an especially intriguing battle with the likes of James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu in brilliant form this season.
However, with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey fit and raring to go, Mikel Arteta already has his starting midfield pair for this weekend’s crunch clash. The real problem will be creative/attacking options off the bench should the duo be struggling.
Mohamed Elneny isn’t the most technically gifted player on the ball as seen by his attacking statistics from this season. Meanwhile, Joe Willock has struggled to make his impact on the first team in recent weeks, showing signs of needing a loan spell away from the club.
There’s far more clarity at centre-half, where Arsenal are more than prepared for any sort of injury crisis. In £6.3m-rated Mari’s absence, David Luiz has filled in at left centre-back and on top of that the impressive Gabriel Magalhaes is raring and ready to go off the bench.
Midfield is a problem issue if the Gunners are struggling during their outing versus the Saints. You can see why the club are desperately scouring the market for a central options especially in the absence of Ceballos.